Jazz chamber ensemble Rose & the Nightingale have officially released their debut album, Spirit of the Garden (4 songs can be previewed on the embedded link below), on Sunnyside Records, and they are having an album release concert on Wed. May 8 at 9:00 pm at SubCulture in Manhattan (45 Bleeker St. @ Lafayette, downstairs).
Rose & the Nightingale are four powerful New York based multi-instrumentalists and improvisers: Jody Redhage (voice, cello, compositions), Leala Cyr (voice, trumpet), Sara Caswell (violin, mandolin), & Laila Biali (voice, piano). The band’s warm sound of three part vocal harmonies, intricate arrangements, and burning solos has proven to cut through to a deeper level of connection with audiences.
Cellist and composer/songwriter Jody Redhage had a few minutes to talk about Spirit in The Garden.
“The whole album is based on the overall Japanese concept of haiku are always about nature, always ajudgmental, nothing is right or wrong, good or bad, and everything is observational. You just try to capture this special moment of wonder in this little poem, and the tradition is they all have a seasonal keyword, something that tells you the season of the year.
All of the lyrics of the 16 songs on Spirit in The Garden are poems, either poetry by Japanese haiku masters or by living American poets. I started collecting nature poetry in 2009–The loose overlying concept of this recording was going to be inspired by the nexus of spirituality and nature, as in nature as a place where you feel awe and where you feel a connection to something greater, or an energy force–all of these things. I was invited to be guest recitalist and composer in various places around the country over the past few years, and each of the places I went, I would find a local poet, usually somebody who was really well-known in that state, and if they didn’t have poems that fit the theme already they would write new ones. We did our first-ever concert at the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park last June–We collaborated with 2 local San Francisco poets who each wrote new poems in response to the Conservatory of Flowers spaces themselves. One of the poets, Evan Karp, wrote about this indoor rain forest room that’s in the Conservatory of Flowers, and a female San Franciscan poet named Silvi Alcivar wrote a piece inspired by the Orchid Room (and written while she was experiencing a family tragedy), by far the most emotional piece on the album.”